ISTANBUL  - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday Ankara would consider bringing back capital punishment in terror related crimes, a decade after it abolished the practice. “The authority (to forgive a killer) belongs to the family of the slain, not to us,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency. “We need to make necessary adjustments.” Given that the death penalty existed in China, Japan, Russia and the United States, Turkey needed to review its position, he said. Already last week, the premier had raised the issue, citing popular support for such a move over the case of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of Turkey’s armed Kurdish rebellion. Ocalan was charged with treason and sentenced to hang in 1999. But the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in October 2002 after Turkey abolished the death penalty under pressure from the EU, which Ankara wants to join. Erdogan’s suggestion to put the issue of the death penalty on parliament’s agenda comes amid a hunger strike by some 700 Kurdish prisoners. They want better jail conditions for Ocalan, who has been kept in solitary confinement for a year and a half, and the lifting of restrictions on the use of Kurdish language. Some of those protesting have been fasting for 61 days but Erdogan has dismissed the protest as “a show, blackmail, bluff.” On Saturday, several lawmakers from the parliament’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) joined the hunger strike. About 45,000 people, most of them Kurdish, have been killed in the fighting with Ocalan’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara and much of the international community.